Friday, May 27, 2011

I cannot hear you!!

You can’t tell an athlete to rest!

The most difficult patient is an athletic patient as they never seem to be able to understand or even hear the word....REST! Most of the time an athlete will present with a muscular, ligament or tendon injury. These are usually sprains, strains or complete tears. Below is some education on the difference between sprains and strains.

Strains are defined as partial or complete tears in a muscle and have 3 levels.
·         Grade 1 strain is associated with small tears within the muscle fibers. Muscle strength stays normal and healing typically takes 10-21 days.
·         Grade 2 strains, the muscle fibers are partially torn. The athlete will experience reduced strength and up to four weeks of therapy and rehabilitation is required.
·         Grade 3 strain is a complete muscle rupture. An MRI is needed to fully evaluate the injury.
Grades 2-3 strains will have a reasonable amount of swelling.

Sprains are injuries to a ligament, ligaments are tough fibrous tissue that holds bones together across a joint. This injury can produce pain or instability in the injured joint and is also listed in 3 levels.
·         Grade 1 sprain, there is pain and swelling, but no instability. Like the strains, this injury is associated with small tears in the ligament. Time, rest, ice, compression wraps and elevation are required for healing (R.I.C.E.= Rest Ice Compression Elevation).
·         Grade 2 sprains are partial ruptures that could cause some instability within the joint. Rehabilitation may be required as well as prolonged rest, icing, compression and elevation.
·         Grade 3 sprains may actually feel less painful than grade 2s, but there is a complete rupture of the ligament and much more swelling. A brace and possibly a surgical procedure are necessary for full healing.

It is imperative that we define these injuries and how they should be treated. Most athletes will take anti-inflammatories to help relieve some of the pain from a sprain or strain. This could actually be counterproductive, as it causes more blood to pool into the injury and this prolongs healing and increases scar tissue formation.

Contact details:
Dr Angela Pasteilledes
96 Brand Road (inside TAP Kruger)
Tel: 031 201 1442
Cell: 083 233 1187

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